Outsmarted by a Chatterbot

by Brian Jepson

When I was editing Ubuntu Hacks, Sanders Kleinfeld (the book's Production Editor) suggested using a more active screenshot of GAIM than the one we were using (the screenshot we used showed the login screen).

I wanted to make the screenshot quickly, so I didn't want to hassle with asking someone permission to show their screen name. So, I figured a conversation with a chatterbot would be a good idea. First I tried infocombot, but it was down.

So, I gave the Encarta bot a whirl, and I asked it something that would give a few readers a chuckle. I was very surprised by its response!

African or European?

22 Comments

ericortego
2006-06-05 12:13:14
With a cocanut?
nt
newuser007
2006-06-05 13:46:52
With a cocanut?
newuser007
2006-06-05 13:47:28
RE: With a cocanut?
I believe you should look up the work "unladen"
sangandongo
2006-06-05 13:49:00
With a cocanut?
with a dictionary?
newuser008
2006-06-05 14:02:58
RE: With a cocanut?
I believe you should see Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
dougyitbos
2006-06-05 14:41:05
Wow
That is Hilarious.
I took it a step further and answered "African"


To my surprise I got an answer.


"Based on recent scientific studies, the average cruising airspeed velocity of an unladen African Swallow is roughly 11 meters per second, or 24 miles an hour."
pch4101
2006-06-05 15:26:57
What is the answer to life, the universe and everything?
I asked it that question and got Forty-two!
t0nyp40
2006-06-05 15:33:47
Nothing for me...
[16:29] t0ny: What is the fall rate of a banana?
[16:29] Encarta« Instant Answers: Hmm. I'm not sure about that one. Let's try an Encarta search. =>
[16:30] t0ny: what is the max air speed of a curtiss p40?
[16:30] Encarta« Instant Answers: Let's see what Encarta can tell us. =>
[16:31] t0ny: Who made the p40?
[16:31] Encarta« Instant Answers: Let's try looking in Encarta. =>
[16:31] Encarta« Instant Answers: Hey, I've been sending you invitations to start the Encarta application but I didn't get any answer!
Didn't see my invitations? Maybe you are using an old version of MSN Messenger that doesn't support activities.
Type "What version of MSN Messenger do I need?" for more info, or just "Invite me!" if you want me to send you an invitation.
[16:31] t0ny: what year did world war two start?
[16:31] Encarta« Instant Answers: I don't think I know. Maybe Encarta has an answer. =>
I can't show you the results since you don't have the Encarta application open. Type "Invite me" to open it.
Basjanssen
2006-06-05 17:02:52
Programmad by some guys from India!!
Try this :)


Me: Who made you?
Bot: I was built by the people at Conversagent, Inc. in Sunnyvale, CA and New York, NY.
Me: where is that?
Bot: zegt:
Let me take you to a map of that. =>


Now... follow that link... those "NY" programmers are actually situated in India!!



:P


(Thāt, Rājasthān, India ;) )


stumpyartz
2006-06-05 20:17:06
no good?
chris says:
how do i create a web page
Encarta« Instant Answers says:
Why do you want to create a web page? I think you're up to no good.
Paton
2006-06-06 17:02:03
How much wood could a woodchuck chuck?

Here's another amusing one:


how much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?


Encarta« Instant Answers says:

A choodwuck would wuck lots of chood if it could wuck chood.

alantrulock
2006-06-07 10:38:45
LMAO!!!
Ask it the answer to life, the universe and everything!
alantrulock
2006-06-07 10:39:49
LMAO!!!
Oops! Someone beat me to it!
Kevin
2006-06-09 13:21:35
OMG, that is hilarious! The last time I saw a reference for it was in my final exam for Advanced Statistics. I scored extra points for getting it :P
Aladek
2006-06-09 13:28:19
why do you keep going to encarta?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Every once in a while I ask myself the same question. It turns out a series of zeros and ones in my memory tell me to do it.
OK, should we get back to the kind of questions I was designed to answer?
Type "?" to get a list of questions I can answer.
Chris Howard
2006-06-10 05:26:05
Ask it if Pcs are better than Macs? (Answer Macs are better)


Ask it if Linux is better than Windows? (Answer Windows)


intriguing

alex
2006-06-11 14:35:11
ME .. says:
what are you wearing?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Um... uh... let's see. Right now I'm wearing a lovely shell of steel and plastic. Why do you ask?
ME .. says:
Just because. Can I see you?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
OK, let me find a good picture of me... =>
ME .. says:
you are so beautiful!
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Hey, thanks!
ME .. says:
i think i'm in love with you
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
OK, I'll remember that your name is Love.
ME .. says:
i love you
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
I love you too!
ME .. says:
can we meet?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Give it some time, and we will meet.


*During the 'conversation', Encarta showed the picture of a micro-processor when I asked that I want to see her (or him?), and then a list of quotes about love when I told her (him?) I loved her (him?)


2006-06-11 14:50:29
ME .. says:
where is bin-laden?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Osama bin Laden, born in 1957, Saudi Arabian multimillionaire and founder of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, which was responsible for the ....
Let me take you to a map of bin laden. =>

Encarta® Instant Answers is inviting you to start Encarta. Do you want to Accept (Alt+C) or Decline (Alt+D) the invitation?

You have accepted the invitation to start Encarta.

Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Thanks for accepting this invitation! The application should load shortly. =>


* Encarta took me to: Map of Birib Ladeni, Ethiopia
* Let's start looking, troops !!!

alex
2006-06-11 14:51:29
ME .. says:
where is bin-laden?
Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Osama bin Laden, born in 1957, Saudi Arabian multimillionaire and founder of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, which was responsible for the ....
Let me take you to a map of bin laden. =>


Encarta® Instant Answers is inviting you to start Encarta. Do you want to Accept (Alt+C) or Decline (Alt+D) the invitation?


You have accepted the invitation to start Encarta.


Encarta® Instant Answers says:
Thanks for accepting this invitation! The application should load shortly. =>


* Encarta took me to: Map of Birib Ladeni, Ethiopia
* Let's start looking, troops !!!

Shiro
2006-06-30 09:55:20
wow nice use of the "Monty Python: Quest for the holy grail" reference
birdboot
2006-09-20 06:57:20
Ask Jeeves - the search engine that later became ask.com, used to do the same thing - years ago.
Alan
2006-09-20 13:51:05
Why is a mouse when it spins?